Geoffrey Norman relays most of my thoughts concerning Pat Tillman at National Review Online.
In the hours when Pat Tillman was preparing for his last patrol, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was considering the case of one Maurice Clarett, running back, formerly with Ohio State University. Clarett had sought legal redress when the National Football League declared him ineligible for its annual draft of college football players, which was held last Saturday. Clarett had been out of high school only two years, one less than the league's rules require. Millions were at stake and not just for Clarett but also for lawyers and agents who had latched on to a meal ticket. There are all sorts of professions with minimum-age requirements. Airline pilots, for example.I won't bother with saying much else but to thank all the men in uniform for protecting the rights of Americans to live our lives with relative peace and liberty.
Still, the case was treated as some sort of civil-rights battle. Clarett was given his day in court and a claim on the time and attention of one of the nine justices of the United States Supreme Court. He lost.
The draft went on without him and Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning was chosen as the first pick in the first round by the San Diego Chargers. Manning and his father, Archie — a former star quarterback in the NFL — had let it be known that he would not play for the Chargers if they drafted him. So after negotiations, Eli was duly traded to the New York Giants. If he succeeds there, the endorsement opportunities will be lavish and he will probably make even more money than his brother, Peyton, who is quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.
And to add one little remark . . . I hope both Eli and Peyton Mannings careers come to a quick and abrupt halt (from turing into abject greedy failures on the field, I'm not wishing them any personal harm) and the entire family slinks away never to be heard from again. As for Maurice Clarett, he will face his own devils. The spite there really must rest with the con men who took advantage of him and the educational system that failed to prepare him for the realities of life.